History of EKROA
In early 2005, Elbert Goins of Thayer, Kansas, recognized that the progress of the gas and oil industry on the eastern side of the state was accelerating greatly, and so were the problems and stories he was hearing concerning this issue. He also recognized the vague contracts and loop holes were going to cause problems for both the royalty owner, landowner, and even the gas and oil industry itself. With that in mind, Elbert found others that had the same idea. Meetings in Independence and Iola, Kansas brought out several hundred people with just as many concerns and questions.
Mike Irvin of Farm Bureau and the Farm Bureau organization, Erick Nordling executive secretary of the South West Kansas Royalty Owners Association, Ron Bentzen of Parsons Ks, Kenny Carter of Altoona Ks, Hugo Spieker of Chanute Ks, Don Sale of Cherryvale Ks, Rich Felts of Liberty Ks, Steve Powers of Chanute Ks, and Art Small of Neodesha Ks, were there at those first meetings. With Elbert they knew they should start this association. All of the forms and documents required to make E.K.R.O.A. a legitimate organization were enacted and adopted at the first annual meeting in October 2007.
Having decided to cover the state from the northern border to the southern border and four counties in from the Missouri State line, E.K.R.O.A. had its work cut out for them. Meetings were scheduled throughout the area with several occurring in the southeast corner of the state. During these meetings it was recognized that there were important issues to be dealt with for a public that had not been confronted with contracts for gas and oil royalties before. It was recognized that the gas industry having 100 years or more under its belt was at an advantage over a naive public. E.K.R.O.A. recognizes this problem and is working to connect the royalty owner better to the industry.
E.K.R.O.A. has worked hard to gain recognition in a large room of important figures. S.W.K.R.O.A. has helped us greatly as we are both concerned with the same goal of educating our constituents about gas, oil, and new technology royalty rights. E.K.R.O.A. is a non profit membership corporation existing under the laws of the State of Kansas and is recognized by the internal revenue service as a business league. Members receive oil and gas royalties or are concerned with aspects of the gas and oil business. Our goal is to inform members about issues that effect members. The board members of E.K.R.O.A. are available to help people in their zones and try to keep abreast of issues that are important to local members. Our newsletter keeps members informed of local as well as legislative issues.
The Kansas legislature and the Kansas Corporation Commission control many of the aspects of gas and oil royalty issues. E.K.R.O.A. realizes more interest in those entities will be beneficial to their members. Keeping up with bills such as Sect. 55-1622 and Sect. 55-1622b Chapter 55 allowed the board members to dive in to legislative issues right off the bat. Our general council Dave Seely from Fleeson Gooing, Coulson and Kitch in Wichita Ks, advised our members about amendments to K.A.R. 82-3-305 a,b,c,d. We appreciate his expertise in explaining issues in a manner more easily consumed by the general public.
E.K.R.O.A. and the S.W.K.R.O.A. were able to secure seats on an advisory board for gas and oil activities with the KCC. Kenny Carter held the position first for E.K.R.O.A. to be followed by a representative from the S.W.K.R.O.A. alternating respectfully. Many issues will be better understood by our constituents and better input to the commission because of our inclusion.
E.K.R.O.A. has worked hard to secure relations as far as taxation of royalties is concerned. Kenny Carter and Hugo Speiker attended a property valuation oil and gas meeting in Wichita which was sponsored by the Kansas Division of Property Valuation. The purpose was to discuss oil and gas appraisal guide for 2009. E.K.R.O.A. also had Lynn Kent from the Kansas Department of Revenue speak at our annual meetings providing our members with valuable information. Taxes on oil and gas royalties are a complex issue and must be considered at all times.
Issues such as surface concerns brought E.K.R.O.A. together with Senators Umbarger, Schmidt and Vratrail. Issues also involved us with the Southwest Kansas Irrigators Association, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association and the Kansas Soybean Association showing how entwined our goals are with the people and the economy of Kansas. Working with other association allows E.K.R.O.A. to learn and build valuable partnerships. E.K.R.O.A. has worked hard to further the Senate Bill No. 184 “The Notification Bill”. Many conference calls, meetings in Wichita and Topeka finally paid off with its passage as Sub Senate Bill for House Bill 2032.
Where we are today
Many more issues are unresolved and it will take time and effort to get negotiation and resolution for them. More help, pressure and people will be required to make our voices heard. There are many important jobs in daily life, work, family, but it is important to remember once a contract such as a gas or oil royalty contract is signed issues may arise that seem overwhelming. This contract has the potential to be in effect forever. Your signature on the line indicated to those concerned that you did all the appropriate homework, you must always remember that the gas and oil companies have done all of theirs. Eastern Kansas Royalty Owners Association hopes to be a source of help to its members.